UNILEVER is among three companies in Merseyside who are to share a £23m investment in the region, announced by the deputy prime minister today.

The Regional Growth Fund will plough £300m in 50 projects across the country to create thousands of jobs and fuel business expansion. 

Unilever UK Central Resources in Port Sunlight will use the cash to grow its product design capabilities, working closely with the University of Liverpool, University of Manchester and Sci-Tech Daresbury.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg, who is visiting the region today, said: “The North West has seen major benefits from the Regional Growth Fund already, and the £23m investment I am announcing today is the latest important part in making sure the recovery is sustainable and balanced across the country.

“We’re seeing very encouraging signs that the British economy is on the road to recovery.

"Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy.

"The Regional Growth Fund gives businesses a helping hand from Government to fuel business expansion and create sustainable employment.

“I pay tribute to the ambitious companies who are using the Regional Growth Fund to create jobs locally, helping to build a stronger economy and doing it fairly.”

The other Merseyside firms included in today's announcement are Glen Dimplex Home Appliances in Prescot and Redx Pharma in Liverpool.

A total of £23m has been given to seven projects in the North West in round five of the Regional Growth Fund.

The Government said this is expected to raise £140m of private investment and create  thousands of jobs.